This potato gratin was part of our dinner last night, but it could also be a great side at one of your upcoming holiday dinners. And chances are, you already have the ingredients on hand.
It’s also a fun opportunity to use your mandolin slicer. And who doesn’t love their mandolin slicer?
Fair warning: this dish needs to bake for an hour. It takes less than ten minutes to construct, though.
Here’s what you need for this creamy, cheesy side dish/vegetarian main dish:
- About 5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes – (the same qualities that make russet potatoes good for mashed potatoes make them bad for this kind of dish – they’ll fall apart!)
- 1-2 cups of milk, cream, half and half, or some combination thereof. You can use whatever you have.
- Salt and pepper
- Plenty of grated Parmesan, plus you can also add/mix in other strong cheeses like Romano or Gruyere – again something where you can play with what you have on hand.
Using a mandolin (or a knife, of course) slice your potatoes as thinly as possible – I had my slicer on the 1/8th inch setting. If you are slicing by hand, use the sharpest knife you own and be very careful. Ideally you will end up with several cups of potatoes.
After greasing a baking dish with butter or cooking spray, place some of the potatoes in so they overlap each other slightly, but not a lot. There will be several layers, so don’t worry if you don’t use a ton in your first layer. I ended up with 3 layers and some change – just keep in mind that the more layers there are, the more time it will take to cook through.
After you have one layer down, salt and pepper the potatoes very liberally and give the layer a heavy dusting of grated cheese. I mean seriously liberally, for the salt and pepper. Those potatoes are going to be drowning in milk, so you have to bring the salty back. Then add another layer of potatoes, and repeat the salt and pepper.
When you’ve layered all of your potatoes, start with one cup of milk/cream and pour it over the dish. The cream should reach the bottom of the top layer of potatoes, so if the one cup doesn’t get you there (it didn’t for me) then you can slowly add more milk until you have the right amount. If you only used straight milk and no cream, I would add a few chunks of butter on the top.
Bake for an hour at 350 degrees. For the last 20 minutes of baking, add a final layer of cheese on top.